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What Appeals to the Chinese Customers? Content Analysis of Chinese Advertisements in Newspaper and on TV

Tian, Kun (2008) What Appeals to the Chinese Customers? Content Analysis of Chinese Advertisements in Newspaper and on TV. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examines the advertising appeals delivered, and the cultural values reflected in Chinese advertisements in newspaper and on TV. It proved that the most frequently used advertising appeals are 'technological', 'status', 'enjoyment', 'vain', 'natural', and 'healthy' for print ads, 'effective', 'youth', 'enjoyment', 'technological', 'vain', 'healthy', 'traditional', 'family', and 'status' for TV ads. Most of them are product category related, but others, such as 'enjoyment', 'healthy', 'status', are universal for any products. The origin of brands makes a difference only on some appeals. Local Chinese brands tend to use more 'traditional', 'community', 'cheap' and 'morality' which are inherent in traditional Chinese culture. However, global and local brands are becoming similar on the choice of most advertising appeals. Among cultural values, group/consensus appeals are significantly more than individual/independence appeals; soft-sell appeals are significantly more than hard-sell appeals; modernity/youth appeals are significantly more than traditional/veneration of elderly appeals; product merit are significantly more than status appeals; symbolic values are significantly more than utilitarian values. Cultural values differ by product category but not by country of origin. Between global brands and local Chinese brands, there is no significant difference on cultural values except that local brands' TV ads keep more group and traditional values. The elements of 'Chinese culture' are broadly used by both local and global brands. Symbolic visuals are preferred to only literal visuals. Website addresses are shown in most print ads. Corporate image, new product ideas and life style are also given attention to. TV ads convey more group/consensus, soft-sell, traditional/veneration of the elderly, oneness of nature and symbolic values, but less hard-sell and status values than print ads. The implications of this research are: 1. Advertisers in China need to consider all the related variables-product category, origin of brands, media type, target market and culture-when choosing advertising appeals and cultural values. 2. Cultural adaptation is necessary and helpful. The issue is not what advertising appeals to pick, but how much Chinese culture to be added in delivering them.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tian, Kunkut6@pitt.eduKUT6
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRawski, Thomastgrawski@pitt.eduTGRAWSKI
Committee MemberShang, Jennifershang@katz.pitt.eduSHANG
Committee MemberVenkatesh, Rrvenkat@katz.pitt.eduRVENKAT
Date: 26 September 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 28 July 2008
Approval Date: 26 September 2008
Submission Date: 29 July 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > East Asian Studies
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: advertisement; advertising appeal; China; communication; culture; cutural value; global brand; local brand; market; media type; product category; symbolic visuals
Other ID:, etd-07292008-155611
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:54
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:47


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